A fringe benefit of distributing a new issue of Edible Blue Ridge to more than 200 locations in the span of a few days is getting to take a breather at a few favorite spots along the way. This time I was very much looking forward to visiting the new, expanded Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nellysford, so planned my route to put me there right at lunchtime. Their former storefront was always a great place to fill up a growler, and now they’ve expanded into a full-fledged brewery, restaurant, and sports pub just up Route 151. It’s very inviting, like a little village transformed from an old schoolhouse and rustic tobacco barns. Since I was traveling solo, I picked a seat in the sports pub and caught up on bowl games scores on the big screen while sipping one of brewmaster Danny Wolf’s seasonal creations, a very satisfying Autumn Ale. For lunch, I was tempted by the fried chicken or Wild Wolf burger, but I have a real weakness for fish and chips, so when I spotted the beer-battered fish and chips on the menu, the deal was sealed. And they turned out to be some of the best I’ve eaten this side of the United Kingdom. The batter was crisp and super-tasty, and just as important, showcased instead of overwhelmed the big pieces of moist, flaky whitefish inside. I think there were a full five pieces, plenty more than I should’ve eaten in one sitting — but at least I left a few (also excellent) fries! I really do want to try some other things on the Wild Wolf menu (mussels and chorizo, for instance), but I’m going to have a hard time not ordering those fish and chips again and again. For variety, I’ll just keep trying Danny’s growing roster of great beers. Thanks for a great lunch, Wild Wolf!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Whether you know every menu in Harrisonburg like the back of your hand, or have never crossed the thresholds of any of the town’s fine downtown eateries, the Taste of Downtown Restaurant Week event, Aug. 14-20, provides a convenient excuse to go out for a meal…or 10. Personally, I know I could start out with the three-course “Breakfast to Remember” at Stonewall Jackson Inn, followed by a casual lunch at the Little Grill, and finish the day off with an incredible dinner at Joshua Wilton House. All in all, 16 downtown restaurants are offering deals on their signature fare. Check out the options below—and give your oven a break for a week: